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"Technique" Archive


The Atlanta Falcons Offensive Linemen Are Football’s “Mean Girls”

Giants DE Justin Tuck thinks the Falcons ARE SO MEAN!

All season long other teams’ players have been hemmin and hawing about how “dirty” the Atlanta Falcons offensive line is. First Ndamukong Suh said it, then BJ Raji of the Green Bay Packers and now Justin Tuck of the Giants.

To recap.

Suh said:

There are many, many, many plays that I could go back to that I watch on film all week that their offensive line has done,” Suh said Monday, “and that they’ve been coached to do, as far as I know. It’s not anything that’s not been said; it’s not anything that’s new.

Cliff Avril said:

You watch film of Atlanta’s O-line and they’re 20, 30 yards down the field cutting guys,” Avril told the website. “You’re running toward the pile and they’re trying to clean you up. Everybody was protecting themselves. I guess since they couldn’t clean us up in piles because guys were aware of it, they decide to make it like we’re the dirty players.

BJ Raji:

Great teams don’t indulge in the kind of cheap stuff the Falcons do. We’re the (defending Super Bowl) champions and we play that way. We walk away from the stuff they pull. These guys are coached to play after the whistle.

Ryan Pickett

It’s unnecessary. They call it playing physical. But it’s after the whistle. It’s not physical. We know it watching tape that you they like to hit after the whistle. You have to watching yourself around the piles.

And Justin Tuck finished it by calling the Falcons O-linemen dirt bags.

Just to be clear, the Offensive line has been accused of bad blocking, playing after the whistle, taking cheap shots, and just generally being not nice.


Mean they may be, but the flags are not flying.

The numbers back up the Falcons. Not only were Atlanta offensive linemen whistled for only one personal foul and a mere three illegal-use-of-hands penalties all season, but they also picked up just seven holding penalties in 1,073 snaps (just once every 134 snaps).

No wonder the famously mild-mannered Smith raised his voice yesterday in defense of his unit.

“Our offensive line is a very passionate, aggressive group of guys who play the game the way we want it to be played,” the coach said.

Asked if he thought his linemen ever cross the line, Smith shot back: “No, I do not — not one bit whatsoever. We want to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football, and it’s mano a mano down there. It’s the trenches.”

As a Falcons fan I’m finding it hard not to beam with pride, especially with the way the linemen defended themselves (you can see what they said when you click on the link above the quote). Now y’all know I’m all for guys following the rules, though like the guys at Deadspin said, all football players are dirty especially when it comes to the pile. However, the whining about blocking technique that is legal but not preferred due to the danger it can cause is just…well…whiny.

This is one thing I’ll be watching during the Falcons/Atlanta playoff game this weekend. Not to see if the Falcons are doing anything wrong (I know they never would! *innocent face*) but to see if the officials throw the Giants a bone or two. Sometimes whining pays.

Sidebar: maybe it’s the Eagles/Falcons fan in me but after listening to the Giants talk all week leading up to the Jets game and now leading up to the Falcons game I wouldn’t mind if the whole team came down with laryngitis.

PS: Credit to my “twin” @lovecrissle for giving the Falcons Offensive line the name “mean girls.” Finally, a Saints fan was good for something. ahhahaah




Are the New York Jets Victims of Overconfidence?

Even the princely Darrelle Revis lost his cool at times this season.

I’ve never hidden my feelings about New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. I think he’s too chatty. Much of his blustering is more agitating than entertaining. His preening in front of the press lacks the authentic eccentricity of his father, the great Buddy Ryan. It’s almost as if uses every opportunity to prove to everyone that he’s just as fiery as his father was during his prime.

That’s why I never thought I’d find myself in a position to feel sorry for Coach Ryan. But this week, I do.

As you know, the Jets began an epic team meltdown in mid-October when wide receiver Santonio Holmes, eschewing any tact or home training, publicly called out his teammates for something that only remotely seems relevant now. Fast forward to the Jets season ending with no appearance in the playoffs and suddenly you have Bart Scott flipping the bird to a reporter, and the usually princely Darrelle Revis refusing to talk to reporters (earlier this season he hung up on a badgering Mike Francesca, another sign of frustration), and an aging but still vocal LaDainian Tomlinson putting Holmes on public notice that his behavior wasn’t acceptable.

That was all in just one day. One day that ended with Ryan tearfully addressing his fractured team and urging them to come together. And by come together I’m sure he meant act professionally because with their season over the team won’t be physically coming together again until spring training begins. (Though if you listen to General Manager Mike Tannenbaum speak, you’d think they were headed full steam ahead into the playoffs this weekend).

At any rate, the team has ignored their crestfallen coach’s plea and continue to jaw and reveal their locker room’s deep divisions. This was certainly not how it was supposed to go for the Jets. This was, again, supposed to be their year. With two AFC championship appearances (but no wins) under their belts this year was supposed to yield that elusive Super Bowl appearance. And many of us in the public thought this year would, in fact, be a strong year for the Jets. If not a win or visit to the Super Bowl at least another AFC championship appearance which, by the way, is nothing to scoff at.

But after the Jets made a slew of poor decisions during the rushed free agency period that began as the lockout ended, the expectation that the Jets would blow into the playoffs and manage to beat the best teams despite a lesser roster were muted for most—but not Ryan. Despite the Jets having given away their jittery quarterback’s favorite receiver Braylon Edwards, neglecting to solidify a fresh running back to take the pressure off said jittery QB, and knowing the receiving core, offensive line and defensive line would be without the leadership and steadiness of Jericho Cotchery, Damien Woody, and Shaun Ellis, Ryan persisted in trying to convince us the Jets were something that they were not.

Earlier this season Michael Lombardi wrote that he felt Ryan’s bragging about the Jets was causing them more harm than good, calling Ryan’s overstatements “counterproductive.” Lombardi said:

His players know what he is saying is not true, because they watch the same tape he does. Do you really think star cornerDarrelle Revis thinks the Jets offense is Super Bowl-worthy? Revis is too smart for that. The fans in New York are too smart, too savvy to believe every word, as they can tell the difference between a good and a great team. And Ryan gives the opponents free bulletin-board material. This is where his bold predictions become counterproductive.

At the time, Lombardi’s take seemed perfectly logical-the team had to know that they weren’t as good as Ryan’s statements. But now I wonder if that’s not true. I wonder if rather than perceiving Ryan’s bold statements as part of the show, they instead bought into his insistence that they were a part of something great and not the so-so team they looked to be.

And I believe that may be a large part of why the team turned on each other. Each of them is looking for someone to blame for the fact that they underperformed. But the reality is that the Jets did not underperform. The Jets’ roster is consistent with that of the 8-8 team they were this year. A more realistic team wouldn’t have been surprised by its lack of playoff berth but rather could have taken pride in playing hard until the end despite some real challenges on the talent front.

My sympathy for Ryan comes not from agreeing with his tactics—I assure you I do not. But it comes from understanding that this is a man who has motivated his team using a certain method. And suddenly that method has blown up in his face in very public fashion. That’s a painful experience for someone who obviously cares so much. Even still, I’m not letting Ryan off the hook. He, of all people, knew the limitations of the individuals on his team and still he insisted upon ramping up expectations. So much so that the two AFC championship appearances in 2 years with second year coach and QB seemed like a failure on the surface. He has no one to blame but himself for that one.

When reporters asked Ryan if he was planning to change his style he said he wasn’t and that he’s a “confident” person. But next year I fully hope to see a further dialing down. This season it became clear that the New York Jets are not annoying trash talkers — Rex Ryan is an annoying trash talker. There was a point as the game between the Jets and New York Giants approached where you realized that the trash talk between the teams involved a bunch of mouthy giants and one Jet in the form of the coach. When responding to what the Giants players said about him, Revis’ defenses of himself were more obligatory than passionate. He just didn’t seem to care all that much about talking up a storm. In this instance, the player was much more mature than the coach. And that’s not a good thing.

People have already compared Rex Ryan to Tom Coughlin who relaxed his preachy ways in 2008 leading a team that had been full of drama the previous year to a Super Bowl win. And I think this is a valid comparison because at the root of both Coughlin’s initial issues with the Giants and Ryan’s issue with this year’s Jets is a motivating style that has outlived its usefulness. The question is whether Ryan is too confident to change.







Michael Vick Announces That He’s No Longer An Idiot-He Will Start Sliding

Michael Vick used his press conference today to prove he's willing to make smart decisions going forward.

There’s an old corny joke I like to tell. Wanna hear it? Here it go.

When Michael Vick does the Tootsie Roll and they get to the part where you have to slide, he just stops dancing. hahahahaah ahhahah ha ha hee…

Whatever, that joke is funny TO ME.

But what’s not funny is following Vick’s career for 239239930 years and watching this knucklehead use any means to avoid going to the ground including having other people knock his ass to the ground. I HAVE BEEN FED UP. And apparently he is too.

In his press conference today he, according to Philly media, said that he would begin sliding because he can’t keep risking the team having all these injuries. I don’t know why it took so long, I don’t know who was able to finally impress this upon him (a doctor maybe?) but I am glad this day has come.

If Vick can slide AND focus on getting the ball out of his hands a lot quicker, you will see the Eagles offense take a serious turn for the better. Howard Mudd has worked miracles with the Eagles offensive line. On one of Vick’s surprisingly few sacks he held the ball for 6.5 seconds, a lot of the other ones happened around the 4.5 and 5 second mark. He has forever to go through his progressions, find a hot read, run or extend the play some other way. And this is actually a part of the problem. Vick has too many choices and too much time. His natural ability has made him too confident and, and in a sense, mentally lazy.

I’d like to see him challenge himself to keep himself limited to three step drops as much as possible for the rest of the season and see where it takes him and the offense. I mean their season is over, they ain’t doing shit on Sundays but practicing anyway. Let’s make it worthwhile.

Congrats to Vick for making one of the best decisions of his life even thought it came years too late and seemed like the most obvious thing in the world to anyone watching. But yeah like I said good for you! lol

I really do like Michael Vick. I know you can’t tell. But I adore him though I remain bitter about a lot that happened in Atlanta. But he’s a cancer male. They’re the best men on Earth. I stand by that.

Other Cancers I adore: Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Brandon Lloyd. All born in July too.


Troy Polamalu Passes Concussion Test. What’s a Concussion Test?

Pittsburgh Steelers Safety Troy Polamalu

Oh okay...

Football superhero safety Troy Polamalu was shaken up in the Steelers last game but has now passed his concussion test and could play in this week’s game. As I saw that news, I wondered what in the hell is involved with the concussion test. Well actually I wondered the last time Michael Vick passed the test, but this time I was actually not being too lazy to look it up.

Long story short, the test the NFL uses is the imPACT test. Some teams use the computerized version, others use paper and pencil. Don’t know how many teams use which version. I hopped over to the tests’ web site, and grabbed this info for those of you like me who have never had a concussion test and weren’t smart enough to guess what all it would involve.

The test:

  • Measures player symptoms
  • Measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time
  • Reaction time measured to 1/100th of second
  • Assists clinicians and athletic trainers in making difficult return-to-play decisions
  • Provides reliable baseline test information
  • Automatically stores data from repeat testing
  • Takes About 20 minutes to complete
  • Measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning in athletes, including:
  1. Attention span
  2. Working memory
  3. Sustained and selective attention time
  4. Response variability
  5. Non-verbal problem solving
  6. Reaction time

Some of the modules include:

  • Module 1: Word Memory
  • Module 2: Design Memory
  • Module 3: X’s and O’s
  • Module 4: Symbol Matching
  • Module 5: Color Match
  • Module 6: Three Letter Memory

Essentially the test aims to find out whether the player is having issues commonly associated with concussions like memory loss etc. You’re welcome!


Nnamdi Asomugha Lowers the Boom on Chris Cooley (in textbook fashion)

After weeks of Eagles missing tackles (13 in one game) they finally got back to fundamentals yesterday against their division rival Redskins. Even CB Asante Samuel, who is really not here for all that tackling and whatnot, hurt his back trying to take down Fred Davis. I hope this is a sign of what’s to come.

The biggest surprise tackle was the boom Nnamdi Asomugha laid on Chris Cooley which ended Cooley’s day and broke his hand. Reports are that Cooley’s hand will need surgery.

What I liked about Asomugha’s tackle is that it was textbook with no frills. A lot defensive players deliver hits that are “clean” by rules standards but fundamentally incorrect. I hate when I see a defensive player hit someone and then get up as shaken as the other player cause of over zealousness and/or poor technique. I mean, what’s the point of taking someone out if you take yourself out too? Who doesn’t remember when then Baltimore Ravens Safety Dawan Landry hit Tampa Bay Bucs RB Cadillac Williams and gave HIMSELF a concussion? No good.



If Asomugha keeps hitting like this, his teammates “might” actually learn to say his name.

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